We have been barred from the Metropole! There is a wonderful apartment in Whitby, right on the cliff edge overlooking the beach and the harbour. It is spacious, well equipped and very warm despite its very exposed position. It also has a red stain on the carpet in the hall which was not there before we arrived.
Long Suffering Wife and I have used self catering establishments all over Europe. Sometimes the owners hover around checking up on you by living next door. Others cover their properties in warning notices and detailed instructions. Sometimes you have to pay a deposit which is returned to you if the property passes the owner's post departure inspection. A failure to clean the inside of a microwave, which LSW swore we had never used, once cost me £50.
A place in Dublin sent a warning letter threatening eviction and being hauled off by the Garda. It is worth quoting from it, along with my reply:
"To ensure that all of our guests and neighbours are not disturbed our Terms &
Conditions clearly state that guests must behave in a socially acceptable manner at all times when in the apartment building. Occasionally, and particularly with our larger groups, problems can occur. It is therefore our responsibility to advise all guests that any complaints from neighbours will be treated very seriously and may be dealt with severely by the police, and result in guests being removed from the apartment without refund, and even possible prosecution"
Welcome to Ireland!
"Thank you for your advice concerning behaviour during our stay in your apartment. I hope I can reassure you that, as an elderly gentleman of moderate habits and restrained disposition, you have little to fear as far as I am concerned. I cannot, of course, speak for my wife..."
Our Whitby apartment's owner is much friendlier and laid back than these other examples - until very recently. The sad events which have resulted in the disgrace of being barred, despite a life of amiable temperance and an abhorrence of giving offence, are as follows. I packed various toiletries together in a Tesco plastic bag for our trip, more or less filling the bag. Somewhere among the shaving gel, toothpastes, shampoos, shower gels etc, the cap of a bottle of Dentyl refreshing clove mouthwash had worked loose and, during the journey, was emptying itself into the bottom of the bag. This same bag was dumped in the hall of the apartment while I returned along a corridor to the lift for the rest of our luggage. It may be that the care with which I threw things into the Tesco bag was slightly deficient, if bag stability in the vertical position had been my primary concern, but it wasn't. In my absence the bag rolled onto its side and a bright pink liquid began soaking into the carpet.
The rest of our holiday was mainly spent trying to remove the stain. We tried water, soap, washing up liquid, various proprietary brand carpet stain removers and it resisted them all. Feeling guilty and upset I began composing my letter of apology to the owner as we drove home.
Too late! Already sitting in my Inbox, smoking ominously, was an incandescent and vitriolic e-mail demanding an explanation, compensation and making it clear that chances of our ever enjoying another stay at this lovely apartment were close to zero. Negotiations have commenced.
There are three lessons to be learned from this sorry tale: first, Tesco shopping bags are commendably water proof - though in this case it might have been better if they were not. Second, sometimes things just happen which are difficult to foresee and prevent. And finally, just ask yourself, if mouthwash does that to a carpet, what is it doing to your insides?